As Students Struggle With Stress and Depression, Colleges Act as Counselors

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From The New York Times: “Students and institutions are grappling with issues like the surge in school shootings and trauma from suicides and sexual assault. But it’s not just the crises that have shaken this generation — it’s the grinding, everyday stresses, from social media pressures to relationship problems to increased academic expectations.

More than 60 percent of college students said they had experienced ‘overwhelming anxiety’ in the past year, according to a 2018 report from the American College Health Association. Over 40 percent said they felt so depressed they had difficulty functioning.

Money problems are exacerbating their worries. Mental health professionals say college students have experienced financial burdens on a different scale than many of their predecessors. They grew up during the Great Recession and have seen family members lose jobs and homes. They have great uncertainty about their career prospects and feel pressure to excel academically or risk losing job opportunities.

‘There’s a much more radical feeling that you’re either a winner or a loser,’ said Victor Schwartz, a psychiatrist and medical director of the Jed Foundation, which helps colleges improve their mental health programming. ‘That’s put tremendous pressure on college students and is feeding a lot of the anxiety we’re seeing.'”

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